Rational Security: The ‘2023 and Me’ Edition

By Jen Patja Howell
Wednesday, January 4, 2023, 12:01 PM

This week, Alan, Quinta, and Scott were joined by co-host emeritus Benjamin Wittes to talk through the big natsec news stories starting off the new year, including:

  • “Watch Out, You Might Get What You’re After.” As we recorded, the Freedom Caucus was in the midst of burning down the House, denying the Republican majority the ability to appoint Kevin McCarthy as Speaker through three consecutive ballots. Where might this lead? And what more should we expect from the 118th Congress? 
  • “Title and … Reversed?” The Supreme Court interrupted its holiday break to consider whether Republican-led states should be allowed to intervene in a case wherein a lower court ordered the end of Title 42 policies, which impose draconian immigration restrictions on the basis of the COVID-19 public health emergency. What could the Supreme Court’s intervention mean for these policies? And what does their persistence tell us about immigration politics in our country?
  • “A Boom Market for Things That Go Boom.” U.S. arms exports to NATO allies nearly doubled in 2022, due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But what might becoming an even larger arms exporter mean for U.S. foreign policy? 

For object lessons, Alan recommended the teen revenge flick, "Do Revenge." Quinta endorsed Kate Beaton's new graphic novel, "Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands." Scott issued a mea culpa for his recent lapses in Muppet knowledge and independently confirmed that yes, in fact, the new "Willow" television series is in fact good. And Ben urged listeners who might find themselves in NYC to check out Mike Birbiglia's latest stage show, "The Old Man and the Pool."